Indie Rock band Augustines (formerly We Are Augustines) have released their third album This Is Your Life. We gave the album a listen and here’s what we thought.
By Jane Howkins.
American indie rockers Augustines recently released their highly anticipated third album This Is Your Life, with the band’s earnest musings continuing on from their previous albums, Rise Ye Sunken Ships (released in 2011), and the self-titled Augustines (released in 2014).
First things first – if you’re expecting anything drastically different, you won’t find it here. This Is Your Life is similar to Augustines other work, and if you didn’t like their earlier work, then you probably won’t like this either. However, the band have always been very good at what they do, and as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, then why fix it? Those that know the band well will know that their music can be epic in scope, and their third effort is no different, with anthemic build-ups and singalongs present throughout. Are We Alive is the perfect opener, with a roaring intro being the first thing the listener hears, before leading rapidly into a gloriously catchy chorus.
This is what Augustines do best, yet while sometimes they can be bombastic, they can also be full of subtleties. Days Roll By begins with a slight piano intro, before expanding into a much fuller sound, with layers of music surrounding singer Billy McCarthy’s vocals. The band have in the past had a minimalistic sound to some of their songs, and whilst this is still present, it’s almost in a deceptive way. A song that originally sounds small and simple really has a great number of textures and sounds going on in the background, slowly unveiling themselves through more listens.
Another thing to mention here is that whilst This Is Your Life is typical Augustines fare, there does seem to be another element that has been added to the mix this time, which is an eighties sound. This adds to the anthemic nature of the record, with songs such as When Things Fall Apart and the previously aforementioned Days Roll By featuring synths and kick-drums that are particularly reminiscent of the period. It works for the most part though, and adds another interesting layer to the unassuming band.
One last point to make is how the lyrical topics have changed from Augustines first album to This Is Your Life. Rise Ye Sunken Ships had a very sad outlook to it, with the album focusing on vocalist McCarthy’s personal life, in which his brother James sadly died. Since then, McCarthy’s lyrics have become more positive, with that culminating on their latest album, one that whilst sad in places, now resonates with hope – which can only be a good thing for the band and fans alike.
This Is Your Life is available now.